Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Arts (MA)




Daniel J. McInerney


The subject of immigrant soldiers during the American Civil War has recently received an increase of attention among historians. Military and social historians have examined such themes as nativism, Americanization, and national identity. Although historians have often examined homesickness among soldiers, none have done so from a migrant point of view. As the largest foreign-born group in the Union army, constituting ten percent, the focus of this paper will be on immigrants from Germany. By looking at letters immigrants wrote to their families, both in the United States and Germany, this paper will examine how both married and single immigrant men interacted with home and war. In many cases, soldiers sought to structure their military environments to resemble the homes, familiar faces, customs, and foods they had left behind. This study seeks to add greater understanding of both the American Civil War and the migrant experience during the nineteenth century.


This work made publicly available electronically on September 20, 2012.

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